Sunday, November 3, 2019

2 Thessalonians 3.6-13: The Story Sounds Familiar

And now...a few words about your behavior. Specifically those of you who aren't contributing members of the community. You didn't learn that from us. We were busy and working when we were with you. We could have expected you to provide us with room and board, so we didn't have to do work ourselves, but that wasn't the lesson we wanted you to see and learn. But we hear that some of you there... That's a paraphrase of 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13. And a problem that crops up in almost every community.

Remember what we said: Whoever doesn't work, doesn't eat. Everyone needs to be contributing to the health and survival of the community, not expecting to live off the work of others.

Jerry Pinkney. The Grasshopper and the Ants. NY: Little Brown, 2015.
It reminds me of Aesop's fable about the grasshopper (in the original it is a cicada) and the ants. Boiled down, the story focuses on a grasshopper who, in late autumn, stops to talk to a group of ants who are drying grain that they had gathered and stored in the summer. The grasshopper was hungry. He had been so busy making music during the summer that he didn't think about taking time to put food by. The ants refuse his request, suggesting that he can dance the winter away.

Even the writer of Proverbs (6:6-9) spotlights the industriousness of the ant:
Go to the ant, you lazybones;
consider its ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief
or officer or ruler,
it prepares its food in summer,
and gathers its sustenance in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O lazybones?
When will you rise from your sleep?

If you don't work, you don't eat. There is a time to work and a time to play. Of course, the ants might have shown a little grace. 

For thoughts on wolves and lambs (Isaiah 65:17-25 and Luke 21:5-19), see Art&Faith Matters on Facebook
For thoughts on Isaiah 65:17-25 and Luke 21:5-19, click here.

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